Mumbai: With Aditya, grandson of Shiv
Sena chief Bal Thackeray, taking over the Yuva Sena reins, the
party, which once vociferously opposed Valentine`s Day
celebrations, has chosen to lie low on the issue, in a bid to
woo young voters and avoid controversy ahead of the BMC polls.
"We think there are more important issues to be sorted
out than opposing Valentine`s Day. The youth are also not much
enthusiastic about the day and the celebrations have become
less in last two-three years," president of Bhartiya Vidyarthi
Sena, the party`s students` wing, Abhijit Panse said.
Defending the party`s decision, Abhijit said the Sena
has taken up issues like helping the youths to get jobs in
The Sena, in the recent years, had objections to
celebrating the day, terming it a `Western festival`.
Party activists indulged in vandalism, threatening youths and
attacking gift shops.
A Sena leader, on condition of anonymity, said the
party is eyeing BMC polls next year and in no way can afford
to lose young voters.
"Development programmes like Railway recruitment would
attract them more to the party. Even the Yuva Sena does not
want to get into any kind of controversy which would hurt
sentiments of youth," he added.
Meanwhile, rival Maharashtra Navnirman Sena (MNS) said
it never opposed Valentine`s Day celebrations.
"We have never opposed the Valentine`s Day
celebrations, it’s Sena which has changed its stand about the
day," MNS Legislator Nitin Sardesai said.
Taking a dig at Sena, Home Minister RR Patil
yesterday said Uddhav should take advice from son Aditya over
stand to be taken on the Valentine`s Day celebration. He was
speaking about the security measures taken by police to thwart
untoward incidents on Valentine`s Day.